Established in 1986, Moldtek Packaging Limited is the first company to replace tin containers with plastic pails, in the paint industry. It is a US$ 65 million publicly listed company on NSE and BSE with a market cap of Rs. 900 crore. Being market leaders in rigid plastic packaging solutions, with over 100 injection molding machines and 50 self-made robots catering to esteemed clients like Mondelez, P&G, Nestle, ITC, Asian Paints, Castrol, etc., the company leads the paint and lubricant markets and is also making a mark in the food and FMCG industry since the past 5 to 6 years.
Speaking on the unique offerings and innovations by the company, Kavya Sarraju, chief manager – NBD, Moldtek group, says, “We have seven ISO-certified plants in India and one near Dubai. We are pioneers in the concept of in-mold labeled containers—non-scratchable, non-peelable photographic quality labels printed on containers by using robots. With 100% back integration, we are the only company in the world to develop our own molds, robots and even IML labels.”
There are a number of factors that Moldtek considers while designing. Sarraju says, “We consider brand insights and consumer profiles, segmentation and targeting info from our clients. We consider manufacturability, reduced transportation costs and IML-suitability along with better productivity and cycle times from our seasoned technical team. We consider creativity, after-use benefits, stackability and aesthetics from our internal product design team for all proposals that we design internally.”
Ariel detergent : For consumers to better differentiate hand wash and machine wash detergents, Moldtek designed a container for ARIEL detergent in the shape of a washing machine. The factors considered in design stage were ease of opening, re-usability of the container, ease of transportation, aesthetic appeal, and the look and feel of a real washing machine. Even the art work with buttons, display, etc. was provided by Moldtek’s creative team to bring out the look. The wall thickness considerations to give best strength, weight requirements, IML- prefect executability was considered from Moldtek’s expert innovation team.
Dairymilk Lickables : This is a new product available in the market with a toy in the top container and chocolate in the bottom one. The biggest challenge concerning this product design was the locking mechanism. The product is pitted against a popular competitor which has a patented peel-off locking system which could not be replicated. Moldtek had to design the container considering factors like biggest size of toy to be fitted inside the container (as per Cadbury’s child safety norms, the free toy should not be in parts to avoid choking hazard), no sharp edges as even a two-year-old should handle the container, reusability, and maintaining a fine balance between ease of opening for kids as well as tamper-resistant pull tab. The last one was the most difficult part, since, if the tamper evidence is too tight, a child cannot easily open the container without adult help, while if it is too loose, then the tamper evidence system itself fails with the risk of someone stealing the toy.
Another challenge associated with the product was providing an IML label for the bottom container with very small width—something which had never been done in India before. The company received inputs on branding this container in line with their advertisement strategy to move towards Aliens & Interstellar party from Mondelez for which the company came up with a product design of a UFO—using two containers that lock together instead of a container and a cap. Mondelez India Foods Private Limited’s Lickables was awarded as Best Consumer Pack 2017 by the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP).
Oil packaging : Just how Moldtek replaced tin containers in paint and lubricants with plastic pails, they have introduced innovative square packs to replace tin containers in the edible oil industry plagued with adulteration and fake products. The product has three layers of tamper proofing apart from the following features:
Differentiate product with user-friendly shape and world-class decoration
Stay with customers forever with permanent branding through IML decoration—scratch and heat resistant. 100% advertising space on all four sides
Delight customers and increase perceived value with new reusable package—home makers can reuse to store pulses/rice, other liquids, etc.
Make product tamper proof and avoid adulteration with peel-off ring, tear-off spout protection, and inside peel-off layer for spout.
Speaking on the significance of packaging, Sarraju states, “Packaging is the core of customer purchase and better packaging extends to a better product. Today, the influencer is no more the traditional trade outlet owner. Customers now have access to touch, feel and see the products at GT and Modern Trade stores and hence, packaging itself becomes the influencer. Seeing is believing, and thus packaging drives the first moment of truth and significantly influences purchase decisions.”
Interestingly, display boxes are an extension to this packaging concept to attract customer attention, are easily movable and highly contribute to brand advertising space. This is especially required for products that can’t stand by themselves. However, the company believes that the design of the product should itself serve all practical purposes like in-store display, maximum advertising space, merchandising, etc. and they consider this in all designs. In-mold labeling plays an important role in enhancing the overall look of the product.
“One of the biggest challenges is to first understand the client brief and also think like a regular consumer while keeping in mind the per piece budget of the product. The wall thickness of the container should be good enough to offer quality but not too thick to increase weight and thus cost. It should not be too low to be perceived as a use and throw product; our strength lies in re-usability. This enhances brand recall as your product stays in the household of the customer for at least 2 to 3 years even after using it,” says Sarraju.
Sarraju also believes that the challenge lies in convincing MNC customers; Moldtek’s branding team selects the most attractive design with most benefits but the packaging team selects one with good cycle times, productivity, etc., while the purchase team selects the one with least costing, reduced transportation and others to make the project viable.
Considering all this which is managed by Moldtek in its 7 manufacturing locations—4 in Hyderabad, 1 in Daman, 1 in Satara and 1 in Hosur across India, which consists of IML label printing factory in Hyderabad. The company has two more upcoming plants in 2019 in Mysore and Vizag, and has opened a factory in RAK, Dubai last year.